QUAN LO ROSSINHOLS EL FOLHOS ... NOW THAT THE FOREST NIGHTINGALE ...
Jaufré Rudel trans. James H. Donalson (from Provençal)
Quan lo rossinhols el folhos
Dona d'amor e·n quier e'n pren
E mou son chan jauzent joyos
E remira sa par soven
E·l riu son clar e·l prat son gen,
Pel novel deport que renha,
Mi ven al cor grans jois jazer.

D'un amistat sui enveyos,
Quar no sai joya plus valen,
C'or e dezir, que bona·m fos
Si·m fazia d'amor prezen,
Que·l cors a gras, delgat e gen
E ses ren que·i desconvenha,
E s'amors bon' ab bon saber.

D'aquest' amor sui cossiros
Vellan e pueis sompnhan dormen,
Quar lai ai joi meravelhos,
Per qu'ieu la jau jauzitz jauzen;
Mas sa beutatz no·m val nien,
Quar nulhs amicx no m'essenha
Cum ieu ja n'aia bon saber.

D'aquest' amor sui tan cochos
Que quant ieu vau ves lieis corren
Vejaire m'es qu'a reüsos
Men torn e qu'ela·s n'an fugen;
E mos cavals i vai tan len
Greu er qu'oimais i atenha,
S'Amors no la·m fa remaner.

Amors, alegre·m part de vos
Per so quar vau mo miels queren,
E sui en tant aventuros
Qu'enqueras n'ai mon cor jauzen,
La merce de mon Bon Guiren
Que·m vol e m'apell' e·m denha
E m'a tornat en bon esper.

E qui sai rema deleytos
E Dieu non siec en Belleen,
No sai cum ja mais sia pros
Ni cum ja venh' a guerimen,
Qu'ieu sai e crei, mon escien,
Que selh qui Jhesus ensenha
Segur' escola pot tener.
Now that the forest nightingale
gives love and wants and takes it too,
and joyous and rejoicing sings
while looking often at his love;
and streams are clear and meadows bright
because new happiness abounds,
great joy has come within my heart.

I wish I had a friendship now:
No jewel's more precious, that I know,
It would be good (I want it so)
if she would give a gift of love:
her body's graceful, soft and lithe,
with nothing disagreeable
and her love's good - and tasteful too.

I am concerned about this love,
awake, or in my dreams asleep
for then my joy is marvellous:
it's there I give and take all joy
but all her beauty's naught to me
for there's no friend to show me how
to take her savor all for me.

This love is pressing me so much
that, when I'm running after her,
it seems that I am losing ground
and all the while she's flying off
while my horse slowly trots along:
I'll hardly overtake her now
unless Love makes her wait for me.

O Love, I happily take leave
so I may look for better things:
and it is my good fortune too
in that my heart rejoices still,
thanks only to Good Guarantor
who wants and calls, accepting me
and who has given me good hope.

He who remains in pleasures here,
not following God to Bethlehem,
I do not know how he may have
some worth, or come to have his health,
because I know and I believe
that, taught by Jesus only, may
we have assured our school of thought.

Trans. Copyright © James H. Donalson 2005


next
index
translator's next